Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Aging a Canvas Print

Let me start out by saying that I really liked this canvas the way it was originally.  My personal style tends to be very traditional.  However, I have had this canvas print in the frame for 10 years in my various spaces at the malls, and it has not sold.  Now, it hasn't been visible to my customer base for that whole time because if I would bring in a large cabinet to sell, I would stick it in front of this piece of art.  I don't know what it was about it that didn't make it sell, but it did not.  So finally I brought it home from my space and put it in the Goodwill pile.
Canvas after aging.
 The following photo is how it started out.  I took it to the Goodwill with a bunch of other stuff, but I just couldn't leave it.  I do really like still life art.  So I decided right then and there, I would do an experiment on it since I had nothing to lose at this point anyway.
 I have also over the years sold what I call "old world" art.  That is, new pieces that they make to look really old and beat up.  I bet I have sold a hundred of those over the years, but not this new looking stuff.  I had to keep reordering them because I would sell out.  So here is what I did to age this canvas.  By the way, the most effort I put into this was getting the art out of the darn frame!  The rest was a piece of cake.
 Once the still life was free of its frame, I took medium grit sand paper and sanded it down.  Then I wiped it down with a damp cloth.  Then I took my Jacobean stain by Minwax and rubbed it into the canvas front and back.  No point making the front look old and leaving the back looking new.  Next I took some raw umber craft paint and painted the sides of the canvas to cover the staples and the white canvas that was exposed.  After all, I wanted it to look old .
 Here is the back.  I actually left stains on it.  At this point it had a much softer, older appearance.  I loved the way it looked, but it still did not mimic the old world look of my other canvases that have been huge sellers for me.
 So next I took gesso and rubbed it into the canvas (front only).  This lightened it up and gave it a calcified look.  The frame you see is another project I did.  That is the frame it came with and I want to sell that as well.
 Now it was a little too light so I repeated the Jacobean stain again on the front side only.  When this was dry, I sprayed it with a clear flat spray to seal the stain.  Now it does have the look I was going for.  The piece does not need a frame as I darkened the sides and the staples to match the look.  I am really pleased with the results and will be looking for more prints to play with in the future.  Thanks for visiting.
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8 comments:

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Hi Maggie,

I love the difference. So cool to see how the layers changed the art.

Dee

NanaDiana said...

Wow-Quite a transformation. Maybe I am out of it but I really liked the original, too. I am surprised it didn't sell. I'm betting it will sell now. xo Diana

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Nice job. I've aged prints, and brand new paintings for customers over the years. It makes such a difference. I'm sure you'll sell it now.

Budget Design Girl said...

It looks great Maggie! Hope it sells for you!
xo-Lisa

Miss Kitty said...

Great job! Thanks for sharing your "how to"s with us. I saw your post over at "Feathered Nest Friday".

Little Bit said...

Love it! Little Bit from DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Love how it turned out! Thank you for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Maggie this is gorgeous! I love this type of artwork, you just made it all the better!!